Tag: bog

Beijing turns to tech to resolve the battle of the bog rolls

Beijing fears that locals are stealing bog-rolls from the cities loos and are turning to facial recognition to resolve the issue.

Toilet-paper theft has become a serious issue in the city, and police clearly have nothing to go on.

But the Chinese method involves grabbing a scan of your face via a built-in camera. Once it’s satisfied you’re not the same person who requested paper a moment earlier, it’ll dispense a strip of paper two feet long (about 60 cm).

If more is needed you will have to wait nine minutes before you can use the machine again.

Of course the work around for more determined thieves includes using masks or clever disguises, but one has to wonder if it is worth the effort.

The marketing director of the company that created the machine told the Times that his engineers had “brainstormed many options” for the design, including “fingerprints, infrared and facial recognition.” He said they settled with facial recognition because “it’s the most hygienic way.’’

The Temple of Heaven Park operator suggested the perpetrators are locals rather than tourists, with some slipping into the restroom on their way home from an early-morning tai chi session.

Google changes its search algorithm rules

Search behemoth Google  said in a bog post that it has tweaked its engine so that you get newer rather than older results when you enter a term.

It claims there’s so much information flying onto the web that people want results not from yesterday or a week ago, but now.

The company said that Google Search uses a so-called “freshness algorithm” based on its “Caffeine” web indexing system.  It has altered its ranking algorithm that will affect around 35 percent of searches and gives the world+dog more up to date results.

The algorithm decides whether a result is old or fresh meat.

Or, as Google has it on its bog, “search results, like warm cookies right out of the oven or cool refreshiong fruit on a hot summer’s day are best when they’re fresh”.

The bog is here.

iPads are a nefarious ploy to keep us locked in our toilets

One in five men think tablet computing’s best used on the bog.

Why not? If it’s going to kill off traditional print like it hasn’t so far that’s one of the most common places to find a newspaper, with certain titles offering the doubled benefit of being a rough but informative loo roll. It’s not advised to wipe with a Xoom even with the clean-friendly screen.

According to strategic content agency Seven, tablet computing, most noticeably the top contender so far the iPad, actually is slowly but surely changing the way people access information. Of the 1007 sample surveyed by YouGov, probably while comfortable on the loo, 51 percent claimed they preferred reading on Apple’s iPad over a regular magazine.

But print media is by no means long in the tooth. In the same survey, it found that among people with iPads, usage of print media only declined two percent overall. In fact, of the users surveyed, only 31 percent have downloaded a free magazine app. Even lower is the group that has bought a paid-for magazine app, chiming in at 15 percent. That said, over half – at 52 percent – said they would be interested in reading magazines on the iPad. We guess they’re not good enough yet compared to what’s out there on the web.

Having an iPad means people are more likely to watch movies by four percent and more likely to shop, up seven percent, probably thanks to a range of well presented consumer shopping apps. Meanwhile email was up 20 percent among iPad owners and playing games was up by 40 percent, signalling a trend in casual gaming outside of specific console devices.

So basically men are playing games and emailing each other from the toilet. We always suspected tablets were a nefarious means to keep us locked in the bathroom.

Seven’s further delving into the world of iPad user habits revealed that they are influenced into buying apps mainly by either word of mouth or by Apple’s App Store’s self promotion. In terms of the most powerful channels for driving awareness of apps – featured categories in the App Store rate highly at 49 percent of buyers, followed by charts in the app store at 47 percent and reviews at 33 percent. Top is still word of mouth at 53 percent. Social media ranks lowly at 12 percent.

The research underlines a kick in the teeth for casual desktop or laptop computing. Those with iPads registered laptop use as down by 36 percent overall while desktop use was down 31 percent.

All interesting figures but as with every market survey, they can be contorted to deliver the message you want. Statistics say 84 percent of respondents would download an app from favourite brands if it was free and non-subscription, a figure researched by YouGov but cited by a brand content creation group, Seven, that does not tell us the questions before it that could have ended surveys.
Why do people read on the shitter anyway? Brands, take note! According to founding editor Keegan Wilson of literary magazine Pop Cult, it’s because modern life is hectic and the bathroom is a sanctuary.
“It is perhaps the only place left in modern society where we are ever truly alone. Reading, because it requires the reader to focus, sit still and be quiet and exercise their imagination, is very much like meditation in that respect,” Wilson says.
“You can only properly meditate without distraction and many people will meditate in private. Reading also needs to be done without distraction, especially if you want to get the most out of what you’re reading. So by positioning ourselves as ‘essential reading material for the bathroom’ we are helping the reader find ‘nirvana’ through words and stories. This is something I reference from time to time in the editorial introduction. I guess, the short answers is to say: it gives you peace in a busy world.”

Meanwhile, a partner at HRM Coaching, Patrick White, who has a PHD in Organisational Behaviour, reckons there’s a chance that iPads and Kindles will become a bathroom accessory.

Speaking about reading on the toilet, he says: “Reading on the toilet is mainly a male preserve.

“A study in Australia showed that the secondary readership by men of women’s magazines was such that it nearly equalled the initial readership by women. The research showed that this was predominately done while they were in the toilet. Here they could ogle at the various models appearing in such magazines fully dressed or in lingerie at their leisure.

“This way they were not directly seen to be openly reading a women’s magazine. A comment such as “Is this all there is to read” would be uttered just as they went in.”

He agrees with Pop Cult that the bathroom is a sanctuary: “In my early career after the drive home from work I was always meet at the door by my young children all wanting to discuss their day and show me the work they brought home from school.

“This was too much for me so I developed the habit of immediately going to the toilet when I arrived home. After a quick read and a calm down I would then emerge to face them.”

Food for thought indeed! As businessmen are, ahem, slated to adopt the tablet compter – could it be possible the likes of Apple is breeding a nation of suited business toilet-dads with iPads? It surely could.

*EyeSee Picture is of an iPhone recovered from the bowl, relatively unscathed.

HTML5 is unready for Apple's defective vision

Apple CEO Steve Jobs attempts to push HTML5 as a method of ridding the world of Flash is based on flawed reasoning.

Kuan Yong, platforms product manager for Google’s YouTube, says that despite his company’s efforts to make YouTube videos run in an HTML5 player it is not ready for the big time yet.

Writing in his bog , he said that while HTML5 <video> tag meets basic video delivery and display requirements, but it’s not yet sufficient for the high-volume, high-value video that YouTube serves.

Yong said that the  Adobe Flash Platform will continue to play a critical role in video distribution. Hang on, isn’t there a “war” going on between Apple and Flash which is over which standard will control the web, with Steve leading the way in banning Flash?

Er, no. Yong said that HTML5 can’t manage streaming video at the moment so a war is not happening.

Flash Player, on the other hand, lets applications manage the downloading and playback of video via Actionscript in conjunction with either HTTP or the RTMP video streaming protocol.

YouTube also has to offer copy protection for some videos, like YouTube Rentals. The Flash Platform’s RTMPE protocol is compatible with copyright protection technology, but HTML5 is not.

Flash is also the preferred option for video embedding.

“While HTML5 adds sandboxing and message-passing functionality, Flash is the only mechanism most Web sites allow for embedded content from other sites,” Yong bogged.

Flash can do more than browsers in terms of hardware-accelerated full-screen display of HD content. While WebKit has made some progress in this area, it’s not sufficient, particularly when content needs to be layered on top of video, Yong said.

He also added that HTML5 lags behind Flash in terms of its support for webcams and microphones in the browser and YouTube users rely on such tools quite a bit.